I’d never been pulled over for being under the posted speed limit before
The target for day two was Deception Pass. We’d ridden over the bridge between the mainland and Whidbey Island the previous day but didn’t have a chance to stop and take in the views. So back north for around 20 minutes. Well, it would have been but for an unscheduled stop.
I’d heard that the police in Washington came down hard on speeding bikes so when I noticed a local Sheriff’s car tailing us I made sure that we were not over the posted limit. I hadn’t noticed the limit change from 50 to 55mph so the scoots were hanging around 50, certainly no slower. A highway patrol car passed us in the opposite direction and soon after the Sheriff’s car pulled off. Okay to pick up the pace a bit now I thought. Seconds later I spot a highway patrol car, lights on steaming up on us. “pull over right” I shout to Lesley over the comms. What I wasn’t expecting was for us to be recipients of the flashing lights.
Lesley has pulled over and I joined her. The officer was out of his car and opened the conversation. I was simply wondering what on earth we’d done. Lane discipline was fine, not speeding. Was we ‘racing’ I thought to myself. I was not ready for the next few words (I paraphrase). “you were only riding about 35mph and causing a tailback. If there’s more than 3 cars behind your obliged to pull over. It’s the law. You were holding locals up who might be late for work or church (it was a Sunday). They might try and pull some crazy passing moves”. There are times when one has to pick the battles. The fact that we were no more than 5mph under the posted limit and not the 20 thrown at us was annoying. However, if this was justa ‘telling off’ and license check we’d be on our way soon. I kept my mouth shut. No problems were found with our documents and we were on our way. I’d never been pulled over for being under the posted speed limit before. Surreal, bizarre and I seriously doubt that a bike would have been pulled. This was simply scooter discrimination.
Lesley and I headed off, our heads spinning with what had just happened. From now on whilst on Whidbey Island it would have to be “quick, speed up, the police are watching” if ever we saw another squad car.
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Back to the real reason for the trip. Deception Pass, as named by Captain Vancouver, was indeed quite a spot. Until the 1920’s, a trip to Whidbey began with a short ferry ride. The ferry was replaced by a very high bridge that’s quite the tourist spot. The local State Park was also worth experiencing if only to sit on a log and take in the views.
The afternoon was planned to be at Fort Casey near the Coupeville ferry terminal. Unfortunately I underestimated the fuel and we turned around, heading in to Coupeville. As it turned out, it wasn’t a bad move. Coupeville was a smashing little tourist spot. A wander on to the beach area, along to the pier. Just kicking back and watching the water. All very relaxing, and a fine way to let the head start to sort out the mornings events.
A quick Vespa mention. The scoots really do attract attention. At times some far more conspicuous bikes are not being given a second glance, it’s the Vespa’s drawing the admiring looks. I’m guessing in some ways people are just not expecting to see two scooters from BC. Scooters are 50cc town things. The truth is these GTS 300’s are living up to the letters. Touring on these bikes is a real pleasure.
Comfortable and peppy they’re great for minor roads, easily keeping up with traffic (despite what the local law enforcement think). My vision of the alternative road trip is alive and well.
Day two had turned out fine, despite the run in with the law. Having said that, I can see being pulled over for being very close, but under the posted speed limit will be a boring anecdote for year to come.